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Self-Evaluation vs. Peer Evaluation vs. Multi-Peer Evaluation

2019.04.53
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7 min read
Recently, there has been a surge in AI-enabled human resource assessment and personality visualization tools in HR. Many modern-day assessment tools, often powered by the latest trends in technology, have been created to support such innovations. 

All assessment tools take a different approach towards evaluation methods. Usually, in order to determine the most appropriate method/tool, HR officers must define “what” to measure. From there, an intense discussion takes place around the “pros” and “cons” of adopting certain methods vs. other considerations.

In addition to determining “what to evaluate,” there are differences in opinion on “who” should be evaluated. This point gets easily forgotten during the assessment phase. Let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages between different tools based on “who” is the subject of evaluation during the recruitment process.

Table of Contents

  1. Subject Type
  2. Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Evaluation
  3. Benefits and Disadvantages of Peer Evaluation
  4. Advantages + Disadvantages of Multi-Peer Evaluation
  5. Which is the best fit for them after all


Subject Type

In this article, we will look at three different forms of assessment to compare and verify: “self assessment,” “single peer assessment” and “multi-peer assessment.”

Self assessment means to examine and evaluate one’s own abilities and characteristics in the workplace, as its name implies. Most aptitude tests which exist on the market can be categorized as self assessments.

Although the term “single peer assessment” does not technically exist, here we will define it as evaluation from one specific person.

Last, “multi-peer assessment” is defined as “evaluation from multiple (more than one) peer.” One example of multi-peer assessment is the well-known 360-degree evaluation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Evaluation

There are two big merits to self-evaluation by GROW360.

First, candidates typically report high user satisfaction with self-assessment scores using GROW360.

When asked to complete a self assessment, people tend to assign themselves higher evaluation scores than their peers. Although there are small and large gaps between individuals, in most cases there is a strong tendency for self-assessment scores to have higher values than peer evaluation scores. 

Generally speaking, when evaluated by peers, people tend to receive lower assessment scores than expected, and therefore naturally people will show more dissatisfaction with the results.

In addition to high user satisfaction, another advantage to self-assessment is that the barriers to evaluation are lower since the assessment can be completed by oneself. Other types of self-evaluation and multi-peer evaluation tests are somewhat troublesome for the examinees themselves to a

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single-Peer Evaluation  

Compared to self-evaluation, single-peer evaluation is considered to be very advantageous in that objectivity and accuracy become higher than self-evaluation.

In particular, in cases where the assessor’s evaluation skill is high, the more likely the assessment will be accurate. However, the opposite also holds true—if the assessor does not have much experience with evaluations and therefore rates poorly, there is a possibility that the result accuracy may be even more skewed than the self-evaluation. 

From this, we can easily conclude that it is unwise to rely solely on the ability of a single evaluation to provide objective, bias-free assessment. One solution to this problem is to deploy multi-peer feedback assessments, which has become quite popular in recent years.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Peer Evaluation

One of the biggest advantages of multi-peer feedback is that objectivity and accuracy scores are more easily collateralized than scores from single or peer feedback. 

Beyond this, with multiple people evaluating a candidate, the weight of any particular assessor’s score gets minimized. This multi-peer evaluation system is helpful in two ways: 1) it reduces the impact of an unreliable assessor and 2) it increases the overall satisfaction of the assessment result (from the candidate’s perspective).

At the same time, however, there exists a significant psychological threshold for the candidate to cross. Candidate must request multiple peers to partake in the evaluation, and while peers may feel compelled to support candidate, they also are concerned about providing the most optimal, accurate assessment.

Although it is highly accurate, I think whether introduction hurdles are very high from the recruitment staff.

Which Is Best Fit For Them All

So far, we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of single, peer and multi-peer feedback assessment.

Despite whichever assessment style best fits, all approaches underscore the importance of accuracy in the hiring process. In this respect, it is clear that multi-peer feedback assessment offers the highest probability of accuracy. However, companies must also think further about how to implement such evaluation system and what other benefits might accrue from such implementation, as adopting only for accuracy is not enough. Considering “who should measure” and “what should be measured” is just as critical. 

In thinking about “what should be measured,” HR should decide whether it is more beneficial to measure intrinsic characteristics (i.e. temperament, personality, etc.) or expressed characteristics (i.e. competencies, skills, etc.). For example, if the goal is to measure “emerging” competencies (aka ability to influence, teamwork, etc.), it would be accurate to utilize a peer feedback assessment where others can evaluate such characteristics. However, if the goal is to measure more latent characteristics such as personality, it would be more appropriate to choose an assessment type that accesses the person’s unconsciousness. 

If your company currently uses an aptitude test but finds it insufficient, then it’s probably about time to reconfirm the purpose and compatibility of such assessment within your changing organization.